APRIL 4, 2023


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It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes something comes along and changes everything…

I remember the first time I used Virtual Soundcheck—best part of twenty years ago, with a VENUE D-Show and the old 18-channel FWx card connected to Pro Tools—and thought to myself, OK, I’ll be using this every day from now on and my mixing life just changed fundamentally. It was a new era; I could now produce my show like I would an album. The lines had been blurred.

Since then, the whole Virtual Soundcheck technology has continued to develop and improve—we’ve added more channels, timecode-based workflows, and per-channel switching, and it’s now baked into the modern sound engineer’s persona. That first time, though, felt like a seismic shift.

Photo of Soothe Live running on Robb Allan’s VENUE | S6L system display at a live concert
The author being irresponsible in front of 80,000 people.

A few months ago, Avid started a collaboration with oeksound to integrate their Soothe dynamic resonance suppression technology onto the Avid VENUE | S6L platform. For those not familiar, Soothe has been indispensable in recording studios worldwide for taming harsh sounds and unwanted frequencies on the fly. And now the technology was getting ready to make its debut on the live stage as Soothe Live.

During the beta cycle, I—like a lot of the extended Avid family—tried Soothe Live out. At first, I experimented at home while preparing for my tour in a good acoustically treated room (you might have seen it during our webinars) and was blown away. Then I tried it in proper venues during virtual soundchecks (some with shocking acoustics) and was still loving it—maybe even more in the worst rooms.

Of course, it was beta. There are always going to be a couple of issues, but the overwhelming need to use it during my show was irresistible. Irresponsible or unprofessional you might say, but have you heard this thing? Speaking to some of my audio chums, I know we all had the same feeling and followed the same path.

That’s how the beta version of Soothe Live ended up being used on some huge shows in enormo-domes. And just like that, something shifted again. Now we can say hasta luego to the sonic uglies—the excessive harshness, boom, muddiness, and sibilance at any type of venue or room—without destroying the fundamental sound.

I was mixing a show during this time in 360-degree immersive audio and was quite busy. I could throw Soothe Live at a problem, and it was gone with just the minimal tweaking. It saved me so much time and got everything to sit comfortably in its spot in the mix. That’s because Soothe Live identifies problematic resonances and applies matching reduction without supervision.

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As with all VENUE plugins, the integration is seamless whether you use a mouse, a knob, or a touchscreen—the control is intuitive and fast. The user interface is uber modern and good-looking, controls are sized to reflect the amount of use, and it clearly shows you what you’re hearing with a fast, detailed frequency reduction graphic constantly displayed in the main window. In fact, we love this plugin so much and think that it’s such a game-changer that Avid is delighted to offer a free one-year NFR of Soothe Live with all VENUE | S6L sales in 2023 AND to all current S6L owners with a support contract.

So, the next time you walk up to an S6L, it should already have Soothe Live installed on it. I think you’re going to love it as much as I do, but don’t take my word for it—check out the feedback from our industry’s best below. If you missed the Soothe Live webinar, watch it on-demand here. And learn more about Soothe and its technology on the oeksound website.

Soothe Live—trusted on the world’s most massive concert tours


Here's what some of the top live sound engineers in the world have to say about Soothe Live for S6L:

Soothe is one of those game-changing things; it's almost as big as Virtual Soundcheck. It just gets you better at everything you do.

Sean “Sully” Sullivan, FOH engineer (Roger Waters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rihanna)

When Soothe is working properly, you just don't hear it.

Mark Carolan, FOH engineer (Muse, Snow Patrol)

It just does this thing of levelling it out and making it sound nice.

Jim Warren, FOH engineer (Arcade Fire)

Once I got a sense of what was going on with it, I thought, Woo! We can use this thing in live sound.

Robert Scovill, FOH engineer (Kenny Chesney)

I can’t imagine ever mixing another show without it—why would I?

Robb Allan, FOH engineer (Massive Attack)

Live inputs constantly change from night to night, and mixers need a tool that can adapt with them. Soothe Live offers the flexibility and adaptability that is really needed to keep up with ever-changing sources. Soothe Live ensures I get the sound I want night after night, no matter what I throw at it.

Jacob Feinberg, FOH and broadcast sound engineer (Modest Mouse, Regina Spektor, Bright Eyes)

Soothe2 has been an essential part of my studio mixing toolkit. To be able to take it with me in a live environment is an amazing feat. Soothe for S6L gives me all the help in the world when it comes to taming a cupped vocal, a gnarly guitar amp, an uneven bassist, or just ‘soothing’ my overall mix. Soothe Live has become indispensable for me.

Ashton Parsons, sound engineer (Cage The Elephant, Disturbed, Alice Cooper)

Photo of Soothe Live running on Robb Allan’s VENUE | S6L system display at a live concert

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